being trans

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What is Trans?

Trans is an umbrella term used to describe
people with a gender identity and /or gender
expression different to their sex assigned at
birth. It may be used to encompass many
identities that are outside of a cisgender
identity.
Cisgender is a term to describe a person whose
gender identity and/or expression is the same
as their birth sex. i.e. Someone who is
identified as male at birth and grows up to
identify as a man.
The term Trans is inclusive of the Trans
umbrella, but not limited to, identities such as:
· Transgender
· Transsexual
· Crossdresser
· Genderqueer
· Male-to-female (MtF)
· Female-to-male (FtM)
· Androgynous
· Non-gendered

Trans is used to describe many kinds of gender
identities that fall within the vast experience of
human nature.
Gender identity is the person’s feeling of being
male, female, both, a mixture, or neither,
which is shown to other people through gender
expression (clothes, hairstyles, mannerisms,
etc.). It is separate and independent from
sexual orientation. Trans people can be
lesbian, gay, bi, straight, pansexual, etc.

How do I know I might be Trans?
There is no single ‘right’ way for a person to
figure out that they are Trans. However, certain
things may indicate a Trans identity.
· When you don’t feel comfortable when being
referred to as a
boy/girl, or man/woman.
· When a wrong pronoun is used to describe
you, it may also
trigger discomfort.
· Some may feel that their body is not in line
with their deeply felt
sense of self. The way their body looks on the
outside may not
match with who they feel they are on the
inside.
· The development of sex characteristics (such
as breasts, facial
hair, etc) during puberty can be a particularly
traumatic
experience for some Trans youth. This may
result in a
heightened level of body image issues.
Gender dysphoria is a
term to describe this discomfort.

If I am not sure, what do I do?
· Become part of a Trans peer group such as
IndividualiTy. If this
does not exist in your area, consider attending
an LGBT youth
group.
· Write and/or talk about how you are feeling in
a journal or with
someone you trust. If you are to talk to
someone, it is important
to choose the right person, and ideally
someone who
understands Trans issues.
· Contact an organisation like BeLonG To, TENI
for support
and advice.
· Find more about being Trans on the internet
at sites such as teni.ie, etc.
· Meet with a counsellor at your school, college
or university, or
with an adult you trust.
· Talk to your GP or other medical professional
about how you are
feeling.

I think I am Trans, what now?
Accept yourself
· Express your gender identity in a way that
feels right for you. Small
steps in doing this can make a big difference.
· Try out a different name and/or different
pronoun (he, she, or gender-
neutral pronouns like ze/they) when you refer
to yourself in a diary,
journal or social media.
· It is important to remember that you are
entitled to use whatever
name and pronoun you feel comfortable with.
· It is perfectly okay to have whatever gender
identity that you feel
comfortable with and only you can decide what
that is.
· Your gender identity is one part of who you
are, and regardless how
you identify, it is not the only thing that
defines you.
· Talking to others that have been through the
same or similar
situation can be really helpful.

Coming Out (expressing who you are)
· Coming out is when you tell people that you
are Trans.
· Be sure that you are coming out at your own
pace andthat you are
not rushing into situations where you are not
comfortable.
· At first, think about telling someone that you
trust. You may have to
educate them on Trans issues, so be prepared
for some questions and
only answer the ones you are comfortable
with.
· Ask people to refer to you by the name and
pronoun you feel most
comfortable with. Be aware that people may
make mistakes with this,
as it may take time for those around you to
get used to your name
and pronoun.
· If you don’t initially receive a positive
response, don’t panic – it can
take time for people to digest what you have
told them. If this
happens, consider getting support for
yourself.
· Those that react badly may also need
someone to talk to. Support and
information are available from BeLonG TO and
other organisations
like TENI.
· BeLonG To provide a safe and non
judgemental environment for
people to express themselves in their own
individual way.

Transitioning
· The term Transitioning refers to the process
through which Trans
people achieves the appearance, gender
expression and self-
image they feel is right for them.
· Some people may change their names
(officially through a deed
poll, or socially), pronouns, style of dress etc.
as a means to
express their gender identity. Others may feel
that a medical
Transition (e.g. hormone replacement therapy,
surgery, etc.) is
the right route for them. Take the steps that
you are most
comfortable with.
· As you take the steps towards Transitioning,
either physically,
socially and/or emotionally it can help to get
support from
others, such as a health professional that is
knowledgeable on
Trans issues, friends, family members and
trusted adult or other
Trans people. Ultimately, you should do what
feels right for you
and take as much time to decide as you need.
· You are able to change some legal documents
like your passport
and drivers’ licenses when you officially change
your name
through deed poll.
· For up to date information relating to
Transitioning in Ireland,
please contact BeLonG To.
· IndividualiTy is a social group for young Trans
people and those
questioning their gender identity. It aims to
provide a safe,
positive and fun space where Trans youth can
relax, be
themselves and make friends.